Genome-wide survey and phylogenetic analysis of histone acetyltransferases and histone deacetylases of Plasmodium falciparum.

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Abstract

Malaria parasites can readily sense and adapt to environmental changes, thus making the control and eradication of this disease difficult. Molecular studies have unraveled a very tightly coordinated transcriptional machinery governed by complex regulatory mechanisms including chromatin modification and spatiotemporal compartmentalization. Histone modifying enzymes play key roles in the regulation of chromatin modification and gene expression, which are associated with cell cycle progression, antigenic variation and immune evasion. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the key regulators of the Plasmodium falciparum histone acetylome; histone acetyltransferases (HATs); and histone deacetylases (HDACs). We describe the genome-wide occurrence of HATs and HDACs in the P. falciparum genome and identify novel, as well as previously unclassified HATs. We re-confirm the presence of five known HDACs and identify, a novel putative HDAC. Interestingly, we identify several HATs and HDACs with unique and noncanonical domain combinations indicating their involvement in other associated functions. Moreover, the phylogenetic analyses of HATs and HDACs suggest that many of them are close to the prokaryotic systems and thus potential candidates for drug development. Our review deciphers the phylogeny of HATs and HDACs of the malaria parasite, investigates their role in drug-resistance generation, and highlights their potential as therapeutic targets.

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